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Tip 2: Recognize and Report Phishing

calendar iconPosted: October 24, 2022
Vector image of people being attracted to a phone by a large magnet.

This Cybersecurity Month, we’re bringing you a new tip each week to help you protect your financial and personal information online. This week, we’re going to teach you how to watch out for phishing email scams.

What is phishing?

Phishing is when criminals use fake emails to lure you into clicking on them and handing over your personal information or installing malware on your device. They might make an email look like it’s coming from a reputable company or even your financial institution to try and trick you into entering sensitive information like passwords, credit card numbers or your Social Security number.

What are signs of phishing?

Watch for these signs to avoid falling for a phishing attempt:

  • An offer that seems too good to be true
  • Urgent, alarming or threatening language
  • Misspellings and poor grammar
  • Generic greetings such as "Dear sir or madam"
  • Requests for personal information
  • Pressure to click on a link or attachment
  • Strange or abrupt business requests
  • Sender email address doesn’t match the company it’s supposedly coming from

What should you do when you recognize a phishing attempt?

If you suspect you’ve received a phishing email, do not click on any links (even the unsubscribe link) or reply back to the email. Just delete it. To take it a step further, you can also block the sending address. You can also report phishing emails to your provider (such as Outlook or Gmail) or your IT department, if you get a phishing email at work.

When scammers go phishing, you don’t have to take the bait! Now you know how to stay alert for phishing emails so you can better protect your private information.

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